From VIVID via CAASTRO: “The Story of Light: Surveying the Cosmos”


CAASTRO ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics



How do astronomers explore the Universe?

Astrophysicists use extremely sensitive telescopes and instruments to collect the light emitted by stars, gas and galaxies. The analysis of these data will provide the information needed to unlock the mysteries of the Cosmos.

However this is not an easy task. Over the last two decades large international collaborations have been formed with the aim to map the skies, catalogue celestial objects, extract their properties and perform statistical analyses. These large astronomical surveys are now providing major advances in our understanding of the Cosmos at all scales, from searching for planets around other stars to detecting gravitational waves.

Australia is at the forefront of these collaborations thanks to the unique instruments at the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) and the development of radio-interferometers as the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP).

AAO Anglo Australian Telescope near Siding Spring, New South Wales, Australia

SKA/ASKAP radio telescope at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in Mid West region of Western Australia

See the full article here .

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Astronomy is entering a golden age, in which we seek to understand the complete evolution of the Universe and its constituents. But the key unsolved questions in astronomy demand entirely new approaches that require enormous data sets covering the entire sky.

In the last few years, Australia has invested more than $400 million both in innovative wide-field telescopes and in the powerful computers needed to process the resulting torrents of data. Using these new tools, Australia now has the chance to establish itself at the vanguard of the upcoming information revolution centred on all-sky astrophysics.

CAASTRO is a collaboration of The University of Sydney, The Australian National University, The University of Melbourne, Swinburne University of Technology, The University of Queensland, The University of Western Australia and Curtin University, the latter two participating together as the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR). CAASTRO is funded under the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence program, with additional funding from the seven participating universities and from the NSW State Government’s Science Leveraging Fund.